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Gender: Male
Hometown: Detroit, Michigan
Home country: Citizen of the world whose address is in the U.S.
Current location: Detroit, Michigan
Member since: Thu Oct 28, 2004, 11:18 PM
Number of posts: 69,366

Journal Archives

WaPo: Bernie Sanders could do better than you think among non-white voters

(WaPo) It’s an accepted truism that Bernie Sanders has chronically weak support among non-white voters, and that it’s a major liability for his campaign. The notion that his success so far is due mostly to the whiteness of the first two states to vote is baked into routine reporting on the race by now: “After solid showings in two overwhelmingly white states, Mr. Sanders will have an opportunity to answer the central question for many Democrats trying to judge whether he is more than a particularly strong early-contest protest candidate,” the New York Times reported from Nevada. “This state is as racially diverse as Iowa and New Hampshire are not: About 20 percent of the Democratic electorate is Hispanic, and 13 percent African-American. Over 95 percent of Vermont, his home state, is white.”

But is there reason to believe demographics are destiny for the Vermont senator? Probably less than you think.

The expectation that Sanders will fail to win the support of voters of color is based on two dodgy assumptions: first, that voters’ candidate preferences won’t be influenced by what’s happened in states that have already voted or by reevaluation of candidates’ records as time goes on (for example, this blistering essay by Michelle Alexander on why African American voters should abandon Clinton); second, that racial identity produces stable and homogeneous candidate preferences everywhere.

Keep in mind that in the run-up to the 2008 primaries, Hillary Clinton consistently outpolled Barack Obama among African American voters, right up until Obama’s surprise victory in Iowa made him seem like a candidate who could actually win. ................(more)


In South Carolina, Young Black Voters Could Put Holes In Clinton's Firewall

(NPR) After a razor-thin victory in the Iowa caucuses, and a double-digit loss to Bernie Sanders in the New Hampshire primary, Hillary Clinton is looking to South Carolina for a big win later this month. And she's counting on strong black support in that state to give her a definitive victory.

Most polls suggest she'll get that support; by some estimates, she could garner 80 percent of South Carolina's black vote in the Feb. 27 primary. Previously, even Bernie Sanders himself admitted as much.

But there may be a hitch. Increasingly, young, black college-aged voters are turning lukewarm on Clinton.

At a gathering of University of South Carolina College Democrats this week, a group watching the results come in from New Hampshire was split fairly evenly between Sanders and Clinton supporters. Only one USC student didn't raise his hand for either candidate — Michael Cauthen, a junior studying political science. He told NPR he was undecided. ............(more)


Here Come the Money Helicopters!

Here Come the Money Helicopters!
by Bill Bonner • February 10, 2016

The Negative Wealth Effect
By Bill Bonner, Chairman, Bonner & Partners:

Since the start of the year, the Dow is down about 7%. But certain stock market sectors have undergone a much harder pruning. First, energy… then the tech… and now banks. Shares in too-big-to-fail bank Citigroup are down almost 28% so far this year. And shares in Europe’s biggest bank, Deutsche Bank, are down by more than 36%.

As always, we don’t know where this leads.

But as we warned at the start of the year, it could be the beginning of a serious bear market. And more! As Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Samuelson put it, the stock market has famously predicted nine out of the last five recessions. Further study shows that a stock market plunge of 10% has about a 50% probability of presaging a recession… 100% of the time!

Hope that’s clear.

But a stock market plunge not only predicts trouble in the economy; it also causes it. The Fed’s treasured “wealth effect” – in which investors, seeing the value of their portfolios rise, feel richer and rush out and spend – works in both directions. When stock prices fall, investors pull back on spending, and the economy goes into a cold funk.

The further stocks fall… the more the likelihood that the economy will follow. This has the central planners worried. .........(more)


Bernie's Latest Ad Will Give You Chills

Published on Feb 11, 2016

A group supporting Bernie Sanders has released a powerful ad on his behalf. The ad promotes bringing people together. Cenk Uygur and Ana Kasparian hosts of The Young Turks discuss.


“BERNIE SANDERS IS A self-described democratic socialist and progressive who is calling for a political revolution to bring people together and take big money out of politics. Instead of raising money with a Super PAC, his campaign has received a record-breaking 3.5 million individual contributions averaging $27 each. In this inspiring video Sanders shares his message: America should work for all of us. Directed by Jonathan Olinger, Created by HUMAN for TOGETHER.”

"She's so silly she doesn't know how stupid she is."

Anchor Upset Beyoncé Wants “An Overthrow Of White Domination"
The Young Turks

Published on Feb 11, 2016

Tomi Lauren is very uspset about Beyonce’s Super Bowl halftime performance. She believes that Knowles is “ramrodding an aggressive agenda down our throat” and promoting a “black lives matter more” agenda. Cenk Uygur and Ana Kasparian hosts of The Young Turks discuss.


“Tomi Lahren, host of Glenn Beck’s The Blaze network, argued this week that Beyonce’s tribute to Black Lives Matter and the Black Panthers at the Super Bowl was unfair to “little white girls” who like her music.

“First it was hands up, don’t shoot,” Lahren complained during her Tuesday show. “Then it was burning down buildings and looting drug stores, all the way to #OscarSoWhite. And now, even the Super Bowl halftime show has become a way to politicize and advance the notion that black lives matter more.”

According to the host, Beyonce was “ramrodding an aggressive agenda down our throats, and using fame and entertainment value to do so.”

The real lessons of Flint

from the Metro Times:

Politics & prejudices: The real lessons of Flint
By Jack Lessenberry

The poisoned water tragedy of Flint is a movie waiting to be made. You have heroes ­— the noble doctor Mona Hanna-Attisha, the dedicated researcher Marc Edwards, the brilliant, quirky, and driven investigative reporter Curt Guyette.

You've got villains: The clueless "relentless positive" accountant governor fixated on the bottom line: the smug emergency managers and the bureaucrats at the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, plus the arrogant press spokesman who belittled anyone who asked about lead.

And you've got victims ­— thousands of victims — children needlessly poisoned by an out-of-touch government.


What we all need to realize is that Flint is a postcard from our future, unless we get serious about fixing this nation.

Our infrastructure is falling apart. Too many of us are being left behind, and much of what's left of the shrinking middle-class economy is really a house of cards. .............(more)


Have Millennials Made Quitting More Common?

(Bloomberg) Quitting is in. More than 3 million Americans quit their job in December 2015, the highest number since 2006, according to data released this week by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The quits rate, which measures how many people ended their employment out of everyone who worked each month, reached its highest level in seven years.

Economists are generally pleased when Americans feel comfortable telling their bosses it's not working out. It is a sign of a bustling economy when people don't stay in the same job for long periods of time, because it shows they're confident they can find work elsewhere. But it's possible that an even broader attitude shift is underway. The largest share of workers in the country—millennials—seem to be categorically opposed to spending their lives at one desk.

Last year, people aged-18-34 became the largest segment of the U.S. labor market, according to the Pew Research Center. The millennial workforce is expected to increase even more, Pew said, as college student graduate and new immigrants, who tend to be young, add to the 53.3 million-strong ranks of the group. Lots of them seem to be antsy. A majority of millennials to leave their jobs in the near future, according to a survey of 7,500 working, college-educated professionals born after 1982 in 29 countries released this year by Deloitte. Sixty-six percent hoped to have a different job five years from now or sooner, 44 percent said they would quit within two years, and 25 percent said they'd jump ship this year to start a new job or "do something different." U.S. millennial workers were slightly more loyal than the global population, but not by much. Only 29 percent said they planned to stay at their current organization more than five years. The BLS does not break down the quit rate by age, so it's hard to be sure whether young people are acting on their desire to move on. .......................(more)


How Far Can We Get Without Flying?

from YES! Magazine:

How Far Can We Get Without Flying?
When a climate scientist decided to stop flying to cut his carbon emissions, he got a glimpse of the post-oil future.

Peter Kalmus
posted Feb 11, 2016

I’m a climate scientist who doesn’t fly. I try to avoid burning fossil fuels, because it’s clear that doing so causes real harm to humans and to nonhumans, today and far into the future. I don’t like harming others, so I don’t fly. Back in 2010, though, I was awash in cognitive dissonance. My awareness of global warming had risen to a fever pitch, but I hadn’t yet made real changes to my daily life. This disconnect made me feel panicked and disempowered.

Then one evening in 2011, I gathered my utility bills and did some Internet research. I looked up the amounts of carbon dioxide emitted by burning a gallon of gasoline and a therm (about 100 cubic feet) of natural gas, I found an estimate for emissions from producing the food for a typical American diet and an estimate for generating a kilowatt-hour of electricity in California, and I averaged the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and Environmental Protection Agency estimates for CO2 emissions per mile from flying. With these data, I made a basic pie chart of my personal greenhouse gas emissions for 2010.

This picture came as a surprise. I’d assumed that electricity and driving were my largest sources of emissions. Instead, it turned out that the 50,000 miles I’d flown that year (two international and half a dozen domestic flights, typical for postdocs in the sciences who are expected to attend conferences and meetings) utterly dominated my emissions.

Hour for hour, there’s no better way to warm the planet than to fly in a plane. If you fly coach from Los Angeles to Paris and back, you’ve just emitted 3 tons of CO2 into the atmosphere, 10 times what an average Kenyan emits in an entire year. Flying first class doubles these numbers. .............(more)


"media industry giants have donated much more to Hillary Clinton than to any other candidate."

Democracy in Peril: Twenty Years of Media Consolidation Under the Telecommunications Act

Thursday, 11 February 2016 00:00
By Michael Corcoran, Truthout | News Analysis

Wall Street's sinister influence on the political process has, rightly, been a major topic during this presidential campaign. But, history has taught us that the role that the media industry plays in Washington poses a comparable threat to our democracy. Yet, this is a topic rarely discussed by the dominant media, or on the campaign trail.

But now is a good time to discuss our growing media crises. Twenty years ago this week, President Bill Clinton signed the Telecommunications Act of 1996. The act, signed into law on February 8, 1996, was "essentially bought and paid for by corporate media lobbies," as Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) described it, and radically "opened the floodgates on mergers."

The negative impact of the law cannot be overstated. The law, which was the first major reform of telecommunications policy since 1934, according to media scholar Robert McChesney, "is widely considered to be one of the three or four most important federal laws of this generation." The act dramatically reduced important Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations on cross ownership, and allowed giant corporations to buy up thousands of media outlets across the country, increasing their monopoly on the flow of information in the United States and around the world.

"Never have so many been held incommunicado by so few," said Eduardo Galeano, the Latin American journalist, in response to the act.

Twenty years later the devastating impact of the legislation is undeniable: About 90 percent of the country's major media companies are owned by six corporations. Bill Clinton's legacy in empowering the consolidation of corporate media is right up there with the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and welfare reform, as being among the most tragic and destructive policies of his administration. ................(more)


Boeing Said to Face SEC Probe Into Dreamliner and 747 Accounting

(Bloomberg) The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating whether Boeing Co. properly accounted for the costs and expected sales of two of its best known jetliners, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The probe centers on projections Boeing made about the long-term profitability for the 787 Dreamliner and the 747 jumbo aircraft, said one of the people, who asked not to be named because the investigation isn’t public. Both planes are among Boeing’s most iconic, renowned for the technological advancements they introduced, as well as the development headaches they brought the company.

Underlying the SEC review is a financial reporting method known as program accounting that allows Boeing to spread the enormous upfront costs of manufacturing planes over many years. While the SEC has broadly blessed its use in the aerospace industry, critics have said the system can give too much leeway to smooth earnings and obscure potential losses.

“We typically do not comment on media inquiries of this nature,” Boeing spokesman Chaz Bickers said in an e-mailed statement. SEC spokesman John Nester declined to comment. ................(more)


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